Saturday, January 29, 2011
Pakatan Rakyat's highly-charged final dinner last night [January 28] managed to outdo the pro-BN 1Malaysia Chinese New Year concert, drawing over 1,200 excited Tenang folk. All the 100 tables at a Chinese restaurant at Labis were fully occupied by Pakatan supporters. Those who did not buy the RM20 dinner vouchers passionately followed Pakatan leaders' speeches through screens setup in the tents outside the restaurant. Others who could not squeeze themselves into the packed tents, were forced to stand outside with umbrellas sheltering them from the drizzle. Pakatan leaders, including PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP star speaker Nga Kor Ming, were accorded an overwhelming welcome by the crowd upon their arrival.
Pakatan VIPs in dream crowd
A potpourri of thunderous applause, cheers, piercing whistles together with the DAP campaign theme song heated up the atmosphere as if in celebration of a Pakatan victory in the by-election. Pakatan leaders had to spend a few minutes to make their way through the crowd jostling with each other to shake hands with them. As soon as they sat down, the dinner table was besieged by dozens of enthusiastic people wanting to pose with them for the camera.
PAS candidate Normala Sudirman, (at centre) who put in a brief appearance at the dinner, was greeted like a superstar.
It was obvious that Pakatan's call to don red clothes had received enthusiastic response. Almost all attendants had pasted red stickers on their clothes sporting the Chinese word 'huan' (change), the DAP campaign theme for this by-election. Some DAP campaigners described it as 'Pakatan fever' , a repeat of the Sibu by-election where the party had unseated the incumbent in an uphill battle.
Poor show for MCA
Meanwhile, the 'Malam Mesra 1 Malaysia Sambutan Tahun Baru Cina' held just 600 meters away at Dataran Labis, featuring local artistes and deejays from national Mandarin radio station AiFM, only managed to attract some 500 locals. The festive concert organised by Pekan Labis village security and development committee (JKKK) and other local Chinese NGOs, had invited MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, deputy president Liow Tiong Lai and Labis MP Chua Tee Yong as VIPs. MCA campaign leaflets lambasting PAS'
Islamic state agenda were distributed during the concert. Laptops, mobile phones and hampers were among the prizes in the lucky draw. Chua also handed out letters of compliment autographed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to seven students from SJK(C) Labis who had scored 7As in the UPSR last year. The crowd was entertained to two rounds of two-minute fireworks as a form of curtain raiser and marking the end of the concert. In a short speech, Chua reiterated the MCA stance that voting for the PAS candidate would be seen as supporting an Islamic state. He (right) warned that the prime minister and his deputy would replace 1Malaysia concept with Islamic policy should the Chinese community favour PAS in the polls. However, Lim jogged the memory of the crowd at the Pakatan dinner that Umno president and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the first to declare Malaysia an Islamic state in 2001. "Who announced Islamic state? Not Pakatan or DAP, they were Umno and Mahathir! And it was supported by MCA, MIC and Gerakan." PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang Hadi also moved to allay the fear by highlighting the equal treatment Terengganu Chinese community enjoyed when the state was under PAS from 1999 to 2004.
These included land titles for Chinese new villages, allocating land for Chinese burial grounds and abolishing road tolls. "You can ask the Chinese and Indians in Terengganu. We protected their rights and freedom of religion and culture during our rule," he said. Apart from stressing Pakatan's pledge to run a clean and competent government, de facto coalition leader Anwar Ibrahim impressed the Chinese audience with his limited command of Mandarin. "If we want 'nian nian hao' (good time every year), then we must march to Putrajaya, If Najib and his wife Rosmah (Mansor) are still in Putrajaya, the we will be 'bu hao' (not good)," said Anwar, prompting cheers from the audience. Nga (right) challenged Najib to approve Segamat Chinese community demand for the construction of a new independent Chinese high school before polling day. "If he doesn't approve, we shall sing Sudirman (Arshad)'s song to Azahar. 'Balik kampung, oh... balik kampung'. We shall send Umno to the National Museum and MCA to the Nirvana Memorial Park (Chinese burial ground)."
Much has been said about the introduction of the novel Interlok into the form 5 syllabus as compulsory reading in Malay Literature. Like most of you, I too dismissed the issue as just another Political Ploy by certain individuals.
Here are a few of the phrases from the book which are deemed offensive to some but instead deemed as necessary in promoting racial harmony by others. The devious intent of the Education Ministry in indoctrinating a feeling of Racial Inferiority among Indians towards other races is transparent. The fact that they refuse to ban the book outright but instead organise talks and forums to explain why in their opinion they feel that the book is harmless is shamefull and speaks volumes about their intent on taking Segregation to the next level.
- Maniam seperti orang India yang lain, tidak pernah khuatir tentang keselamatan isterinya. (Page 218).
- Mereka yang dari arah ke utara sedikit bercakap bahasa Malayalam atau Telugu, tetapi hampir semuanya tahu bahasa Tamil. Malayalam dan Telugu pun berasal dari satu rumpun bahasa Dravidia. Satu perkara besar yang membuatkan mereka senang berkaul adalah kerana mereka tergolong dalam satu kasta Paria. (page 211)
Translation : The reason all Indians in Malaysia can get along so well is because we are all Pariahs
- Mereka tidak perlu takut akan mengotori sesiapa kalau bersentuhan. (page 211)
- Mereka berasak-asak seperti kambing . (page 211)
- Disini, pekerjaan yang membezakan kasta tidak ada. (page 216)
- Kuli-kuli Cina itulah yang lebih banyak mendapat kesempatan. Maniam mengakui bahawa mereka lebih pantas bekerja dan sedikit bicara. (page 218)
- Dia gembira hidup di negeri ini kerana untuk pertama kali dalam hidupnya dia berasa dirinya sebagai manusia seperti orang lain. (page 218)
- Disini dia tidak sahaja bebas bercampur gaul dengan orang lain sama sebangsanya, malah dia tidak takut dengan pantang larang yang terdapat di negaranya apabila seorang India daripada kasta rendah menyentuh orang India daripada kasta tinggi. (page 218 & 219)
- Dia tidak sahaja dimaki hamun dengan kata-kata yang kesat, malah disisihkan daripada masyarakat sehingga dirinya dan orang-orang yang sekasta dengannya menjadi lebih hina daripada. (page 219)
- Di negeri ini, orang daripada keturunan kasta tinggi, kasta Brahma memakai punul yang melintang di tubuh, tetapi dia tidak takut menyentuh orang itu. (page 219)
- Dia boleh membeli barang daripada penjaja dengan memberikan wang dari tangan ke tangan; tidak seperti seperti di negaranya, dia mesti meletakkan wang itu di suatu tempat dan penjaja itu akan menyiram wang itu dengan air sebelum diambil dan dimasukkan ke dalam petinya. (page 219)
- Apatah pula lembu ialah binatang suci bagi orang Hindu; dan kalau binatang itu mati, seperti ibunya sendiri yang mati. (page 220)
- Tidak makan tengah hari tidak mendatangkan masalah, asalkan dia dapat mengunyah sirihnya seperti lembu atau kambing memamah biak. (page 224)
- Dia gertak sahaja, orang kulit hitam ini tentu takut kecut. (page 253)
- Suppiah menerpa ke hadapan dan sujud di kaki orang putih Lantas, dia menendang Suppiah. Suppiah terjungkir. (page 256)
- Dia berasa bangga kerana anjing orang putih itu jinak dengannya. (Page 276)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
After watching the series, I decided to make a search on the military might of China of then and now, and this is what I found out.
This is the period of the Qin Dynasty whose emperor was Shih Huang Ti, the same person responsible for initiating the Great Wall of China. The armed forces during this period and the following which is the Han Dyansty, could easily muster one million soldiers to fight at any given time. Rome during this period with its famous Roman Legions, could only muster 50,000 soldiers.
It was fortunate that China did not know anything about world domination then. With its strike force numbering at such a size, they could have easily conquered the world and all of us would be Chinese citizens today.
The armed forces of China today stands at 5,883,828 personnel. After the defeat by the British in the Opium War which ended in 1860, China vowed to never again to face such humiliation again. Thus, plans were initiated to modernize its army. The build-up of the armed forces started in earnest during the Cold War of the sixties and today, it has superceded Russia in terms of technology to such an extent, it has created some discomfort for the Americans. The recent expose of China's new stealth fighter planes, the J-20, became an added concern for the Americans.
When the Americans show concern, it is time that the whole world had better sit up and take notice for one will never know when the Dragon will rise.
After the second world, there was a meeting of world leaders. Sir Winston Chuchill proudly told Mao Tse Tung, "On every beach, you will find an Englishman". Mao replied, "Where the sun shines, you will find a Chinese." And today, the power of China's economic strength is a testimony to this fact. The Chinese are everywhere globally.
Footnote: After watching "The Three Kingdoms", it is regretable to say that it did not help me understand the Mandarin language one bit.Ironically , my Bahasa improved tremendously just by reading the subtitles.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
As reported by The Malaysian Insider:
A year ago, Zairil Khir Johari’s only association with politics would be his father — the late Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari, Umno stalwart, former education minister and who served three prime ministers including the late Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Over the past few months, however, Zairil’s name has been the talk of the town, namely through opposition blogs as well as anti-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) blogs over his appearance at the coalition’s last convention in Kepala Batas, where he was a guest speaker.
His retractors have accused him of being a “traitor” and “anti-Malay” for abandoning his late father’s party and choosing to become a part of the DAP — a party which is still feared by many Malays and considered to be pro-Chinese due to its majority Chinese membership.
The DAP has, however, of late extended an olive branch to Malays in its bid to shake off “misconceptions” about the party, and Zairil is seen as an example of the party’s efforts.
Zairil said he chose the DAP over Umno because the PR party shared “common goals” with what the late Khir had looked for in the “old” Umno.
“My father’s Umno is a completely different Umno from today’s Umno. When he joined Umno it was during pre-independence, his struggle was to free our country from the oppression of the British government. Now after more than 50 years of BN rule, the situation is such that people are being colonised, oppressed by our own people, we do not have any freedom.
“There are no civil liberties, so the struggle is still the same. It’s the same struggle, I am just using a different platform, that’s why I chose the DAP over Umno,” said the 28 year old who runs his own chocolate business.
Zairil told The Malaysian Insider that if the late Khir were alive today and at the same age as Zairil, he himself would not be a part of Umno.
“It would go against any principle he believed in. When my father joined Umno it was a grassroots party, most of the members were teachers, my father was a teacher himself... today many of them are in it only for the money and to secure lucrative government contracts,” said Zairil.
Coming from a family of nine siblings including himself, Zairil admitted that many of his peers back in his Penang hometown were grassroots DAP members and had encouraged him to join the party.
Prior to joining the DAP, Zairil had “followed” its leaders and attended night functions and ceramahs to get a better idea of what the party was about.“People in DAP, Liew Chin Tong, for example, have been proactive in introducing me to ceramahs. I followed them to Galas. What I’ve been impressed is the influx of young leaders in DAP as well as PKR.
“There is no social mobility in Umno where it is based on patronage and hierarchy. In PR, young leaders who are capable are allowed to shine,” he said.
Zairil told The Malaysian Insider that he consulted many parties before making the decision, including some very “senior” Umno members who had advised him against joining his father’s party.
Zairil said he was “willing” to contribute to DAP in any way he could — even if it meant contesting in the next general election.
“I put myself out there to serve... no one has discussed anything yet but I am willing to serve in any capacity that is needed,” said the father of one.
According to the young politician, PR was a platform which could be used for restoring “civil liberties” in the country with the abolishment of draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA), and the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) which prohibits students from being politically active.
“Personally, I am pushing for the Education Department to be a separate entity from the Education Ministry. There is too much politics involved when the department is answerable to a minister. There should be a separate panel to monitor the department, made up of all interested parties in the field of education, and this will also include the ministry,” said Zairil, who said he was writing an academic paper on such a proposal.
Political parties are currently rushing to sign up some 4.3 million unregistered voters.
The DAP takes the lead while Umno follows closely behind.
The DAP registered 32.5 per cent of the 169,838 new voters registered between January and June last year.
Umno registered 32.3 per cent of the new voters while PAS registered 22.7 per cent in the same duration.
What is most irritating to many Malaysians like me is that how could a man, who has committed adultery, takes the high moral grounds to pass judgment on others. Furthermore, MCA was the party who supported Dr Mahathir on the proclamation of Malaysia as an Islamic state. So what's the big deal with PAS Islamic state?
Aiyoh, MCA, you fellas really Make Chinese Angry.
Monday, January 24, 2011
"There is no need to go on about this. I don't want to prolong this matter," the BN's polls commander-in-chief told a press conference in Tenang today.
He said Normala has her reasons for not shaking hands - and than she has the freedom to do so - and that BN should not manipulate the issue.
"It is up to the voters to judge because she might have her own reasons. We in BN should not exploit the candidate's personal (reasons). That is her choice, but we leave it to the voters to judge."
Pressed further, Muhyiddin said there were other more important issues to be addressed.
"There are other main issues that need to be focused on (and) explained (in showing) our commitment to helping the people and the voters here."
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Kathy was originally a singer of Malay songs but towards the late 70s and early 80s, she switched to singing in English. Some time in 1981, she released her first English album 'Everyday Girl' with most tracks written by Simon Justine, who at that time was playing with the group, 'Carefree'. In the same album, was the cover version of the TV hit song by Irene Cara, 'Fame'.
Following are two songs performed by Kathy. The first being "Fame" and the second one [video clip 2 & 3] is the Elton John classic, 'Don't let the sun go down on me'.
[It could have been a great video if not for the continuous shaking of the camera and poor sound quality].
The Saints, Kuala Lumpur
The Quests, Singapore
The "Little" Falcons, Kuala Lumpur
The Crescendos, Singapore
Rose Iwanaga, Sarawak
Naomi & The Boys, Singapore
Rocky Teoh, Ipoh
The Surfers/October Cherries, Singapore
Janice Wee, Sarawak
Roy Chew & The Merrylads, Kuala Lumpur
The Checkmates, Singapore
Terry Thaddeus and The Teenage Hunters, Kuala Lumpur
The Thunderbirds, Singapore
The Straydogs, Singapore
The Strollers, Kuala Lumpur
The Western Union Band, Singapore
Frankie Cheah, Kuala Lumpur
Sharifah Aini, Kuala Lumpur
Sudirman Arshad, Kuala Lumpur
Tracy Huang, Singapore